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Barbara Carey flies to Italy to visit her blind sister Mary Ann, who is studying in a music academy. Once in Rome Barbara discovers her sister has disappeared and, according to the Italian police, she may have been murdered by a maniac who is obsessed with young sightless women. With the help of Martin Foster, from the British Embassy, Barbara starts trying to find out what happened to Mary Ann. She even pretends to be blind herself in an attempt to attract the killer, and finally the clues lead her to Seagull Island, privately owned by a mysterious British citizen named David Malcolm. Barbara must then find the answers to several questions: was Mary Ann really kidnapped? What happened to David's wife and son in the island? And why is David's relative Carol so unhappy to see a woman with him? Written by
This British-Italian co-production is a mix of Drama and Giallo about young American Barbara, who goes to Italy to visit her blind sister (she's in Rome with a music ensemble). But when she arrives, her sister has disappeared. Soon she fears that her sister fell victim to a killer who only kills blind women, because one has already been killed and another dies soon after her arrival in Italy. But no trace of her sister yet...
The respectable British citizen David plays a crucial role. He lives on a remote island between Sardinia and Corsica, and lost his second wife and son from the first marriage due to a diving accident. Barbara makes contact with the Brit, pretending to be blind, and David invites her to the island, where he tells her that his son didn't really die in the accident, but that he has been disfigured and doesn't want to have contact with anyone who can see his face. So: Is the disfigured son the killer? And: What happened to Barbara's sister?
The film was made for cable and made its debut as a five part mini series, including many underwater shots of people diving. The underwater scenes are filmed beautifully, no surprise knowing that director Nestore Ungaro is an expert for underwater filming. The story itself has typical Giallo elements, but is told rather as a Drama than as a Thriller. This makes the movie sometimes seem overlong and a bit boring. And because it's a TV-production, there aren't really graphic murder scenes in it, Ungaro almost completely relies on atmosphere and stunning visuals. All in all, "L'Isola del Gabbiano" is a decent movie, but nothing really special in the history of Giallo films, which makes it worth seeking for Giallo collectors only. Rating: 5 out of 10.
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